Walking around the property at the Tuthilltown Spirits complex in Gardiner, just west of Poughkeepsie in New York state's Hudson Valley, you'll experience a taste of the past. Vintage equipment and signs adorn the restaurant and gift shop, and old grindstones can be found dotted throughout the garden beds.
Ralph Erenzo, a skilled rock-climber and the proprietor and visionary behind the Hudson Whiskey brand, has been climbing to the top his entire life, and in the process he's helped to launch New York's craft whiskey movement. Under his tutelage, Tuthilltown Spirits earned the distinction of being the first distillery to open in New York state since Prohibition, and his Hudson Whiskey's signature expression, Baby Bourbon, recognized as an iconic American whiskey, is the first bourbon ever produced in the state. Tuthilltown also produces a range of other whiskeys, as well as gin, vodka, and rum, all of them utilizing the bounty of local Hudson Valley farms and orchards.
My visit to Tuthilltown included meeting Erenzo, and featured a tour of the distillery followed by a beautifully prepared luncheon and the best whiskeys I've ever tasted, which I enthusiastically sampled. Truth be told, I wasn't a whiskey drinker before my visit... Well, that's changed!
Pour yourself a dram of Hudson Whiskey as you experience this wonderful adventure.